An Overview of Cancer

Essay by BabouteCollege, UndergraduateA+, January 2007

download word file, 2 pages 3.3 3 reviews

Downloaded 81 times

Cancer is a scary word. Almost everyone knows someone who got very sick or died from cancer. Most of the time, cancer affects older people. In "Core Concepts In Pharmacology" , a book written by Michael Patrick Adams and Norman Holland, they states that if we live long enough, we are all going to get cancer. Knowing of cancer and knowing the cancer-causing factors will help people have a better knowledge of the disease, so they can prevent themselves from this incurable disease.

According to, cancer is actually a group of many related diseases that all have to do with cells. Cells are the very small units that make up all living things, including the human body. There are billions of cells in each person's body. Robert Buckman, writer of the book title "Cancer, Contemporary Issues, Companion" , he defines cancer as "Normal cells divide and when they become old or damaged they kill themselves (apoptosis).

Cancer cells are damaged normal cells that do not die and continue dividing. They have no function and because they continue to grow they damage and kill normal cells, then tissues, then organs, etc."

According to Ellie Whitney, there are three major cancer- causing factors. First, we have biological factors, which is not controllable; it is found in our genes. Second, We have physical factors, this we can control. For instance, Exposure to a large amount of x-rays can cause cancer of the white blood cells. Viruses also cause cancer. According to Ellie, Viruses are associated with about 15% of all human cancers, so stay away from these. At last, we have Chemical factors, which is also controllable. For example, uses of tobacco also cause cancer of the lung. Norman Holland from "Core Concepts In Pharmacology" book, she states that chemicals in...